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A Serco bet? Australia’s immigration centres are up for grabs

Want to run Australia’s immigration detention centres? The job is out for tender and is likely to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Serco might not retain it.

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A generation of damaged people government wants to ignore

We’re creating a generation of damaged souls out of people who seek asylum. One of the bodies set up to monitor the situation has been scrapped by the Abbott government, writes physician and Doctors for Refugees member Dr Michael Glicksman.

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The fall of an empire

Crikey readers talk the fringe benefit tax, the George Zimmerman trial and giving away Christmas Island.

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Driven mad by FBT

Crikey readers talk the fringe benefit tax, the real unemployment figures in the US and why we can’t just give Christmas Island to Indonesia.

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Make a present of Christmas Island

Crikey readers talk Hotham preselection, Tony Abbott on carbon emissions and a novel plan for asylum seekers.

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‘We don’t want to go to NARUE’: asylum seekers’ plea letter

A group of Hazara asylum seekers expected to be among the first sent to Nauru for offshore processing has written an open letter pleading for the government not to deport them.

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Crikey Blogs | FEDERAL|

Reflecting on SIEV 221, one year on: getting the message

What is the message of border security, and who is its intended recipient? This is is the final in a three-part series of three related reflections on the anniversary of SIEV 221, the Christmas Island Boat Tragedy.

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A failure of imagination

A year on from Australia’s deadliest shipwreck since 1890, we revisited our editorial from December 2010, written, as our opening line states, as they were “still pulling bodies from the water”, as pieces of SIEV221 splintered across the rocks of Christmas Island.

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Crikey Blogs | FEDERAL|

One year on: reflecting on the Christmas Island boat tragedy

In the dark reflection of the one-year anniversary of the shipwreck of SIEV 221 – the Christmas Island Boat Tragedy – it’s time to ask ourselves and each other: what have we learned? writes Peter Chambers.

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After nine years as a refugee, it’s time for quality of mercy

There is a Tamil man from the north of Sri Lanka, sitting in an Immigration detention facility in Victoria. He has been assessed as a refugee but is not allowed to be released.

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More sloppy thinking on asylum seekers

It is possible to deter asylum seeker boat arrivals while meeting and exceeding our humanitarian obligations. But no one has put the policy together yet.

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Cost of detention? $113,000 per asylum seeker

Over the last decade we’ve spent over $100,000 detaining each and every boat arrival.

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How can we tell if the Malaysian deal works?

It’s unclear whether the Malaysian deal will work and it has risks, but it is the least-worst solution currently available form the major parties.

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No accountability in the press

Crikey readers have their say.

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Budget breakdown: trampling on human rights is expensive

Asylum seekers continue to suffer because of poll-driven policies and their fate remains an enormous political problem for Australia. John Menadue, of the Centre for Policy Development, adds up how expensive trampling on human rights really is.

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Gillard move straight from the Bolt playbook

In the Sunday newspapers was the story of the federal Labor government having accepted one of Andrew Bolt’s recommendations. And not a word from him about this confirmation of his importance.

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Buildings set alight at Villawood, as gov tries to sell new detention centre

Immigration minister Chris Bowen is facing increasing political pressure over the government’s handling of immigration detention today, after nine buildings were burnt down last night by protesting asylum seekers at Villawood Detention Centre.

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New Matilda | FEDERAL|

Eltham: Mandatory detention is morally bankrupt

Our treatment of asylum seekers is akin to the totalitarian dictators that Australia normally stands against. Just because oppressing asylum seekers is popular with voters, doesn’t mean it’s right, declares Ben Eltham.

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Government facing crisis of perception over Christmas Island

After a week of violent protests on Christmas Island, it’s clear the federal government is facing a humanitarian crisis with no clear resolution.

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AFP struggles to regain control of ‘violent’ Christmas Is protests

Australian Federal Police are struggling to regain control of the ongoing situation on Christmas Island, as detainees continue their week of protests by burning down accommodation tents and throwing rocks.

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More tear gas at Christmas Is, as asylum seekers continue to protest

More tear gas was used by Australian Federal Police on detainees on Christmas Island last night, as asylum seekers continue to protest against conditions on the island and the length of time taken to process claims.

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Lay off it, Scott Morrison

We were all collectively horrified by the Christmas Island boat tragedy last December. All sides of politics had the good sense, and the decency, to say so. And now along comes Opposition immigration spokesperson Scott Morrison…

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Dumped detention volunteer chief hits back at Scientology claims

For a volunteer group and charity, suspected Scientology influences never play well. Neither do revelations of lax paperwork. But when both of those details combine — and you work in immigration detention — well, you’d better hold the front page.

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Christmas Island detention unsustainable, says Ombudsman

The current scale of immigration detention operations on Christmas Island is unsustainable and more asylum seekers should be processed on the mainland, says the Commonwealth Ombudsman in a report released today.

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A damning report in polite language

The report of the Commonwealth Ombudsman into the Christmas Island detention centre naturally enough was largely hidden from the public by the coverage of Cyclone Yasi.

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